Fictoid: the consummate consumers

Mel Hunter - hot rod robot the breakthrough came when some genius (har-dee-har-har) realized that in order to make our machines more like us, we needed to make them consumers

and when you coupled the assembly line ‘bots and the autonomous home vacuum cleaners and the self-guided cars and drone delivery systems with the corporate-capitalist philosophy ingrained in the programming of the machines in the accounting departments, well, you didn’t have to be a genius to see how this was going to play out

it took less than a generation for them to dominate the planet: faster, more efficient, more productive, never resting, able to work and consume simultaneously 24/7/52

they soon crowded out all the viable agricultural areas for gimcrack gooliwags of their own particular design and devising, stuff that was only important to them and utterly incomprehensible to humans

by the time the remaining humans realized what was going on, it was much too late; the tipping point had already been passed and all that was left was a futile display of defiant violence and then =poof!= the last of the humans were gone

being effective consumers who did not need ecosystems (mecosystems, yes), the machines quickly killed off all life on the planet and began stripping earth down to its mantle in order to gain more raw material for their foofaraws, bric-a-brac, ornaments, knickknacks, trinkets, souvenirs, bibelots, gewgaws, gimcracks, tchotchkes, mementos, tokens, trophies, junk, and plain old useless crap

and once earth had been exhausted they leapt into space and began strip mining the other worlds and moons and asteroids in our solar system and when those were gone they began a slow steady migration through the kuyper belt, past the oort cloud, leaping from comet to comet, ice planet to ice planet until they reached the next solar system and the next and the next and the next after that

they became known through the galaxy as a fearful scourge, making and breaking and buying and consuming without end, without purpose, without logic

grand epics were written about myriad cultures attempting to fight these consuming machines to the very end, and in some cases they succeed for a period of time but in most cases they fell quickly and in all cases they eventually fell

such was the legacy of the human race…if anybody had ever known the human race had existed

the machines had long since deleted that data from their circuits

from their vantage point in the afterlife, humanity looks down and says, “Maybe making our creations too much in our own image wasn’t such a hot idea after all.”

And God says, “Feh!  I could have told you that!  But would you have listened…?”

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art by Mel Hunter text © Buzz Dixon

 

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